Le jour d'amour

This Valentine's Day had a decidedly French flair.  Rob surprised me with dinner the night before at a real French restaurant.  (I define "real French restaurant" as being "a restaurant where the staff speaks French."  And this one is so French they don't even have a website.)

I'm not big on red meat unless there's no red left in it, but I had always wanted to try steak au poivre because of my love for peppercorns (see Kirsten's comment for proof of this) and I figured this would be a good place to try it, as the food is always impeccably prepared.  The steak was huge, so I only ate about half around the edges and left the redder part for Rob to enjoy later.  It came with a brandy cream sauce, crisp-tender steamed broccoli and cauliflower and thinly sliced pommes anna, a gourmet version of scalloped potatoes.  Of course we ordered dessert, even though we barely ate half; the fun part is remembering two days later that there's a nice half-round of chocolate-cherry gateau hiding on the bottom shelf of the refrigerator.

So yes, my husband one-upped me by starting the night before.  I had commissioned an original watercolor of a Paris cafe from an Etsy artist I liked; he has an informal collection of tiny watercolors from European cities he's visited, and somehow Paris was missing, so it was fun to fill in the gap.

All of this is especially appropriate because his department plans to take its first overseas study trip this summer to the City of Light.  You may or may not have heard that Paris is somewhat famous for its architecture.  I get to go along because neither professor speaks a lick of French (unless you count "Je voudrais du vin rouge," which I taught Rob last week.)  And of course it's all contingent on getting enough people to sign up, which is very much up in the air -- but still, a very exciting possibility!

So, what does this all have to do with teaching?  There are two lessons here: 1) Architecture professors have very cushy jobs, and 2) everyone should learn a foreign language, as you never know when that will get you added to the must-travel list.